August 2014 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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August 29, 2014

Notary Information for Beginners – Best Posts

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General
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What is a Notary Public?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6498

What makes a mobile notary a mobile notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8302

Notary Journals from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8348

Everything you need to know about journals
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=70

Identification requirements for being notarized
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4299

Notary Certificates, Notary Wording & Notary Verbiage
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1834

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Become a Notary
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Notary Oath of Office information
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2545

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Notary Acts
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What is a Jurat?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6937

Everything you need to know about Acknowledgments!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1199

Optional info on Acknowledgment Certificates
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4407

Information about various notary procedures
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2268

Interesting and uncommon notary acts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=483

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Additional Info
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Industry standards in the notary business
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4370

Fraud and forgery related to the notary profession
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2294

Which states allow e-notarizations?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2528

Notarizing your foreign language document!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2768

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August 24, 2014

New Notary Apps that you really need!

The entire world has gone app crazy in the last few years. Personally, I use GPS, and my alarm clock. That’s about it for me in terms of apps. But, what types of apps might notaries need to stay ahead?

(1) Look up signing company reviews.
123notary already has this for i-phones. It is a page, not an app, but what is the difference right?
www.123notary.com/s

(2) Find a cheap gas station
Google already does this. Just visit www.google.com and look up “cheap gas” or “gas prices” and then add your zip code. Or enter your city name and gas prices for a better selection if you live in a big city.
You can also use gasbuddy.com

(3) Billing applications?
Very few notaries use sophisticated technology to know who owes them what and for how long. But, there are companies out there who have billing applications that you can see at a glance who owes you what and who to invoice. Is it worth it? You tell us!

(4) Road condition apps.
There are GPS systems that tell you which route to your destination is faster under current situations. Such technology has cleaned up traffic congestion in many cities around the world. If you have technology that tells you how to avoid traffic, you could save an hour per day every day! That would be worth paying a bundle.

(5) Translation apps (risky)
The notary is supposed to be skilled in whatever language they use at a signing. If you look up words in an application, you might screw up and the signer might understand you incorrectly or not at all. Words sometimes have multiple translations. “Do you swear to tell the truth” could translate into “Will you marry me” if you miss a subtle nuance in certain languages. But, for those who are app crazy, you are apt to get one anyway. So, go for it! SayHi Translate can do this by the way!

(6) Mileage log apps for the IRS
The IRS may request to see your trip logs. If it is digital, that might be good, unless it is hard to download, print, or gets accidentally compromised. But, paper records can get lost too, so which way is safer? You can keep track of your miles using your i-phone if you have an app for that. I don’t know of any app like that, but they probably exist as probably 50 million Americans deduct mileage for one reason or another.

(7) eJournal applications?
These exist. You need to be an eNotary to use one. Out of 7000 notaries on our site, I’m sure there are a good three or four of you who are commissioned eNotaries.

(8) iSchedule
You guessed it. This app will manage your busy schedule. You can input all your appointments with this app and all is well until you go into a dead zone or run out of battery.

(9) TurboScan
Quickly scan multipage documents into high-quality PDF’s. Wow! Sounds like a winner for companies who want fax-backs.

(10) Documents Free (Mobile Office Suite)
Not sure what this does, but you can read up on it.

(11) Contacts <-> Excel
I think we all know what this is for.

(12) UPS Mobile
Ship your packages using your i-phone, and hopefully a UPS box. You might need a printer too.

And last but not least… (and appropriately numbered)

(13) Ghost Hunters Haunted House Finder
Find a haunted house near you. Or use it to look up your signings. If one of your signings is in an officially haunted house, suggest that you all meet at Starbucks. Use your Starbucks finder app to get there!

(14) Page Separator Pro
Split those legal and letter sized pieces of paper. Even some dual tray printers don’t have the ability to figure out which tray prints what, and why…

You might also like:

Choosing a name for your business license
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7103

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August 11, 2014

What is your MONTHLY notary marketing plan?

What is your marketing plan? Do you have one? Many people are helter-skelter in their approach to notary marketing. Here are some things to consider:

(1) Market to local title companies, nationwide, and signing companies that have reasonable reputations
(2) Market on a regular basis. If you are starting out, you will spend more time marketing and less time working. But, as you gain regular clients, you will have less time to market. Marketing is a dish best served hot, and best done while business is slow, which generally means in the beginning of the month.
(3) Marketing means gaining new contacts and getting on their database, but also means giving a call every two months to companies who have you on their database that didn’t call you recently.
(4) Making your listing all that it can be helps a lot too. That is passive marketing as opposed to points one, two and three which are active marketing (pounding on doors or phones as the case may be.) A good listing should have 123notary certification, a unique and informative notes section (ask for help,) and reviews from satisfied clients.
(5) Marketing plans should be based on monthly tasks that you are going to do to market yourself. Decide ahead of time how many companies you will contact every month, how many touching base calls you will make, and how many minutes to spend on your listings.

Remember, my most important point about marketing is that it needs to be regular. As newbies, it is easy to think that you do your marketing once, and then you are done. It is easy to think that you get in 200 company databases, create a handful of internet directory listings and you are done. Not true. You have to keep getting on new databases of signing/Title companies, refresh existing relationships with courtesy calls, and keep refining your listing.

People think that their listing is “good enough.” This complacency leads to mediocre results. Take a look at your notes section every few months. I bet there are more unique and interesting things you can say about yourself. Most people cannot think of anything unique to say. So, keep going back to your listing. Writing a notes section is like Twitter in more ways than you think. If you post something blah on Twitter, people will not notice it because they see hundreds of tweets per day. To gain their attention and get them to favorite or retweet your tweet, you have to stand out, and in a positive way. Your notes section should “pop,” and grab people’s attention. It should have facts, but also be unique and have pizzazz. That is not easy to do, so keep working on it.

You are never done with marketing. Marketing is something you need a MONTHLY schedule and plan to tackle. What is your monthly marketing plan?

Tweets:
(1) Notary Marketing efforts need to be continuing. You don’t just market for a month and then expect results.
(2) Notary Marketing needs to be something done every month. It never ends as you always need new clients!

You might also like:

How do you let people know you are a notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1936

Which tasks can you do which are worth $1000 per minute?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4113

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August 3, 2014

Is this man a notary?

I got an email from someone who thought that I was the world authority on notaries and had contact information for all notaries in the world including phone numbers, addresses, next of kin, etc. I have to tell them one by one that I am only a humble directory owner and that I have no access to what they want. I tell them to ask the Notary Division in the state where the notary resides.

But, what a great tabloid header — Is this man a notary?

Picture a shady looking guy wearing a trench coat and a hat like they used to dress in the 60’s. A similar looking guy was suspected of being involved in an embezzlement and racketeering ring. One notary customer saw the alleged notary working in a busy office in the city and remembered the pictures she saw in the newspaper about the criminal. The only thought that ran through her befuddled head was — is this man a notary?

So, she used the strategy used in the T.V. show Psych. The bad guy always runs. She talked to the shady looking notary and said in passing,

LADY: “By the way, you look just like that guy who was in the newspaper who was suspected of embezzlement, fraud, racketeering, and other crimes.”
The guy didn’t even budge a millimeter, he wasn’t phased.
NOTARY: “What of it?”
LADY: “Is that alleged criminal you?”
NOTARY: “Of course not, I’m screened by the state. They don’t let felons or those convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude become notary publics, lady.”
LADY: The lady then pondered, and mumbled: “Then, I wonder who that guy is…”
NOTARY: The shady looking notary unemotionally said, “Oh, he’s my brother. He’s on the run and has assumed a different identity. He’s been doing fraud since we was 12 years old. Part of the reason I became a notary, was to catch guys like him — believe it or not!”

When hiring a notary, you need to know if they are a fraud. The thing is, they might be a fraud who never got caught. Or, they might have become a fraud since being commissioned and just haven’t been caught yet. In the case of our Notary friend, his brother has been a career fraud since the age of 12. I have only two things to say in response to this story.

(1) OMG. and
(2) Is this man a Notary?

Tweets:
(1) When hiring a notary, you need to know if they are a fraud!
(2) The notary said, “I’m not the convicted racketeer in the newspaper – that’s my brother!”

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August 2, 2014

Signing Services take a portion of the notary fee

It is a well known fact that signing services take a portion of the notary fee. Some take most of it, while others only take a fraction. It is very bizarre how so many companies work on such different margins. I remember when I was in the game back in 2004. One company charged $250 and paid $75. Another company did business based on volume and charged $90, but paid only $50. This was in the days before e-documents were popular. Once in a while you can read the HUD and find that a company is charging a whopping $400 for signing fees. They might claim that part of that is for Attorney or processing fees, but I don’t buy that.

One borrower saw some outrageous notary fee on the HUD, and asked the notary how much he got from it. The notary replied that he got enough to get something on the value menu at McDonalds. The borrower didn’t like that crack much.

Notaries feel that it is not fair that they get such a small percentage of the fee. In business, there is no “fair.” You take it or leave it. If you are taking it, then that is your non-verbal way of saying that is the best you can do, and it is therefor fair. Take it or leave it. To be able to leave it, you need to have a steady stream of better offers.

Notaries always complain about bad offers. But, it is like a girl at a dancehall. If she gets 19 bad offers, but 1 good one, the good one is all she needs. On the other hand, if another girl got three bad offers and complains about them, the problem is not the bad offers, but the lack of good offers.

If you are not an experienced notary with excellent skills, you don’t merit high pay! Become an expert, pay your dues, master the art of communication, and then you might get better offers. Only 2% of the notaries on 123notary are top notch, and they are getting most of the good offers!

Tweets:
(1) It is bizarre to see how signing companies work on such varied margins ranging from modest to highway robbery!
(2) Notaries feel that it is not fair that they get such a small percentage of the notary fee on the HUD

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